A Scientific Exchange Like No Other 

Imagine the best minds in cancer research from around the world together in one room, talking about their data and findings. That’s exactly what happens when Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF)-funded scientists gather at the SWCRF Annual Review and Symposium, which took place on May 13 and 14, 2013 at the New York Academy of Medicine.

As many investigators will tell you, most researchers work alone, often in just one isolated area of study. But not SWCRF-funded scientists, as is evident at the Annual Review, where researchers have a unique opportunity to learn from one another, asking questions, making suggestions and sometimes forging new collaborations – right on the spot.  Speak to any of the scientists who attended the event and this is what you’ll hear… “It’s a brilliant exchange…”  “I heard stunning thoughts today…” “This is an exchange like no other.”

“The Waxman Foundation is unique,” said Alan Rosmarin, MD, a member of the SWCRF Scientific Advisory Board, who spoke at the Symposium, addressing both scientists and donors. “It’s a model specifically designed around collaboration, not competing. Dr. Waxman has removed the walls. It’s translational science we are proud of.”

Many of the researchers share a dream, explained Hua Yu, PhD, a member of the SWCRF Scientific Advisory Board, who also spoke at the Symposium. That dream is “making cancer a manageable disease in a short period of time. You are enabling us to reach our dreams,” Dr. Yu told the donors.

And since the SWCRF is all about collaboration – that collaboration extends to donors. As Dr. Rosmarin explained, SWCRF donors “can see themselves as collaborators.” The meeting not only benefitted the scientists, but also donors, who had the unusual opportunity to learn firsthand about the research they funded.

In thanking Dr. Waxman, the driving force behind the event and the Foundation, Ben Neel, MD, PhD, head of the Ontario Cancer Institute, said, “It is remarkable that you are able to fund such a stalwart group of scientists year after year. As I overheard one of my colleagues say, ‘it’s a tribute to the power of one man's vision.’ I agree – Dr. Waxman, you are an inspiration.”

Over the next few weeks, we will be sending you updates about some of the breakthrough findings from the meeting.